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October 24, 2002 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-24

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16B - The Michigan Daily - Weekead Magazine - Thursday, October 24, 2002




Kellogg looks beyond image

By Lauren Smith
For the Daily
Stephen Kellogg started playing in
bands in college at the University of Mass-
achusetts back in 1994, and since then, he
has been following his creative instincts to
produce some great songs - mellow and
always lyrical, heart-felt and sweet. They
- are songs that make you sit back in your
chair; close your eyes, smile and listen. He
spoke to The Michigan Daily about gui-
tars, tunes and life on the road.
The Michigan Daily: When did you
first pick up a guitar?
Stephen Kellogg: I've been playing
guitar for the past, I guess, eight years. I
started really playing toward the end of
high school. I have played a lot of air gui-
tar - especially in my high school band; I
was all about the air guitar. Definitely, I

was way into Bon Jovi and Motley Crue
- I was a real fucker for '80s metal
bands. That all started - I guess when my
sister took me to see Whitesnake in con-
cert and that began that thing.
TMD: Do you remember the first song
you wrote?
SK: I think that I do remember - I
remember one of the first. It was certainly
something. It was just some little instru-
mental thing. I think I was in maybe eighth
grade. I don't think I'll ever forget that lit-
tle tune; you can't really forget the first
one, y'know. I practiced it over and over
for weeks. My dad would come upstairs
and I'd be strumming my little tune over
and over on the guitar, and he'd say, "Still
practicing?" In high school I wrote my
first song, probably called "Midnight
Flight" or something like that.
TMD: What inspired that first song?

SK: Oh, absolutely dedicated to a high
school girlfriend - a girlfriend of about
two-and-a-half weeks, I think, at that point.
TMD: If you could choose one artist
whose work you admire most, who would
it be, and why?
SK: In the grand scheme of things, I
think I love Bob Marley. (laugh) I heard
they found something like 30 species of
bugs in his hair when he died! Maybe I
need to get more bugs in my hair and real-
ly start tearing up the international scene.
But really, what I love is his voice, his
stage presentation - and I love his ability
to hit a universal theme with someone
without being long winded. For example, I
love Dylan and others, there are lots of
great songwriters - but I like (Marley's)
ability to be simplistic but still touching.
TMD: You tour quite a lot - how
would you say live music differs from
your studio albums, both from the artist's
angle and the audience's perspective?
SK: I like both - I guess I like live
music; it's so much more raw and rough,
and that can be great, because perfection
isn't the most important thing. There's
something kinda cool 'bout that - little
more real, I'd say. There's ups and downs;
like the highs can be higher and lows can
be lower. The studio also, though, gives
you a place where you can come up with a
pure version that's not screwed up by crap-
py sound or some dude in the back yelling
"Freebird" or, for example, if you really

02/03 Fall Season

want a sitar in the background 'cause that's
what you see in your head for the song,
you can do it; you can almost bring the
songs to life the way you want them to be.
I do think the whole live the live thing is
so cool, from my view or the audience,
because you have a memory that goes
along with the show.
TMD: What type of show are you
planning on performing, and what kind of
impression would you like to leave with
the Michigan crowd?
SK: I'm doing an opening set and I'm
traveling solo. For now, I'm hoping people
will come and check out the show, get a
taste for the music, maybe pick up records
and we can start building something,
which hopefully means good times ahead
for future visits. I would like to keep com-
ing to Michigan. I'm also playing on "mis-
chief night," the night before Halloween, so

$10 Rush Tickets on sale 10 am-5
pm the day of the performance or
the Friday before a weekend event
at the UMS Ticket Office, located in
the Michigan League.

50% Rush Tickets on sale
beginning 90 minutes
before the event at the
performance hall Box

Banda Mantiqueira
Brazilian Big Band
with Orquestra de
Sao Paulo
Tonight! 8 pm
Mich igan Theater

Banda Mantiqueira has
entertained audiences
in every major city in
Brazil with their unique
and vibrant Latin/big
band/jazz sound.

Grupo Corpo
Brazilian Dance
Rodrigo Pederneiras
artistic director
Fri 11/18 pm
Sat 11/2 8 pm

This wildly popular
dance ensemble is a
feast for eyes and ears,
combining "the sen-
suality of the samba
with the technical
prowess of classical
ballet...with energy to
burn." (Boston Globe)

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courtesy of The Orchard
we should definitely have some fun!
TMD: I'm sure the road hasn't always
been easy, or fun. Would you say it was
worth it?
SK: Oh absolutely. It's like any other
business: You just have good days and bad
days. I feel like I'm having as much fun as
I could have. I like to think I am learning a
lot about the whole music business and
about life as well. It's funny, I never
thought, never realized - y'know, you
hear, as a kid, parents talk about business
and it seems like this big, aloof, heavy
concept that someday you'd get pulled
aside and they'd say, "Now you're gonna
be involved in business." I've realized it's
just what you do with your time. Everyday
business for some is gardening, or for
another guy, figuring out with stock is
gonna grow, but for me business is driving
and performing and singing songs. To me,
that's this huge insight into life, like a reve-
lation, like I can't believe I am in the mid-
dle of business and it's only just being out
there enjoying my life. Was it worth it?
Yeah, definitely, which isn't to say that
everything was sweet and perfect - it's
not like that - and I guess that a lot of
what my tunes are about.
TMD: Do you ever feel like it's about
the "business" rather than the music?
SK: Sometimes it feels that way,
although I try not to let it get like that. I'm
trying really hard to balance everything.
Everybody has to negotiate no matter what
they do, balancing between all elements of
life. Sometimes the scales are tilted, but
hey, I just wanna write some songs, play
for people and have a good time. Definite-
ly rock the balance and keep it cool. At one
point I just wanted to be on the cover of
Rolling Stone, but lately I want something
a little more normal, just to enjoy things. It
goes back to the whole balance thing, and
in the end, my family and friends are more
important than the cover of Rolling Stone.
I think, I'll just do my music my way, the
way I'm feeling, and the rest of it can just
be a result, rather than the end goal.
TMD: What do you want or expect
from the years to come?
SK: The hardest thing is seeing what it
is you're really trying to do, and then fig-
uring out what you want is the really
tough part once you see that. You're like
OK, that's what I want to get. So I see
great songs - they're all over the place.
And I know what great songs are; that
pushes me to want to do better. I just
work on a day to day basis: Better to do
good stuff and keep this balance thing
going, and everything stays fresh and
exciting. I feel like everyone has to be a
sex symbol in all this rock and roll stuff,
and you're caught between a lot of absurd
shit. You just have to know in your heart
what's real.
Stephen Kellogg is opening for Jeff Lang
at the Ark on Wednesday, October 30.

Power Center

Herbie Hancock
Wed l1/6 8 pm
Michigan Theater

Grammy-award win-
ning Herbie Hancock is
a true icon of modern
music. Don't miss the
return appearance of
this jazz legend with
his new Quartet.

sms 764.2538 I www.ums.org
A valid student ID is required. Limit two tickets per student, per event.
Rush tickets are not offered if an event is sold out. Seating is subject to
availibility and box office discretion.

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